Management structure and procedures
The Consortium is aware that management activities are extremely important for the successful realisation of the project as well as for a transparent accountability of the European contribution. The following section details the management structure foreseen for the CerCo? project, the distribution of responsibilities, communication flow, decision making procedures and conflict management.
The organisation structure of the Consortium will include the following components: Project Coordinator, Project Manager, Advisory Board. They will be assisted by WP leaders. A general schema is presented in Figure�10.
Figure 10: Project management interactions
Project Coordinator:: The project will be coordinated by the University of Bologna, Italy.
The Coordinator will be Dr. Claudio Sacerdoti Coen of the Department of Computer Science who will be the ultimate responsible for the overall coordination of the Project, especially but not limited to the scientific point of view. Dr. Claudio Sacerdoti Coen already acted as WP leader in Project IST-2001-33562 Mowgli, he coordinates the Strategic Project DAMA (Dimostrazione Assistita per la Matematica e l'Apprendimento) of the University of Bologna, and he participated to several European, National and local projects. The Coordinator shall:
- act as an intermediary between the Contractors and the European Commission in order to keep constantly informed both the EC about any aspect that may affect the work progress and the Consortium on EC indications;
- receive the financial contribution from the Commission and ensure timely budget allocation to the Contractors consistently with the program of activities and the decisions taken by the appropriate Bodies;
- supervise the scientific, technical, financial and administrative progress of the Project;
- receive from the partners any proposal for modification/re-planning of the activities agreed;
- submit to the Commission reports, Project Deliverables and financial statements prepared and duly certified by the Contractors;
- keep accurate records identifying the budget share allocated to each Contractor and inform the EC of the distribution of funds and the date of transfer to the partners on an annual basis;
- organize and ensure appropriate communication among the partners;
- chair the meetings of the Advisory Board;
The coordinator will be supported by the Project Management Team and, for matters of general relevance, by the Advisory Board.Project Manager:: The Project Manager will be appointed within the Project Management Team of the EU Research Dept. of the University of Bologna, that will ensure high quality management for the project. The European Research Department at UNIBO is dedicated to legal, financial and administrative support of European research projects and was set up in 1994. Since then, the European Research Department has gained a considerable experience in the management of international and European projects and has been recently strengthened in terms of skills and human resources. At present the Project Management Team at the European Research Department at UNIBO is managing about 40 projects funded within FP6 and more than 70 projects funded within FP7. For most of the projects coordinated by UNIBO (about 15), the Project Management Team is responsible for the overall project management activities, including day-by-day management, monitoring of activities, reporting and financial management. For the remaining projects, which involve UNIBO as a partner, the Team is dealing mainly with financial and administrative management. The Project Management Team is also involved in management activities within other European Commission Programme projects, such as Culture2000, Life, Interreg and Daphne. The PM will be working in close cooperation with the Coordinator and will be in charge of the following tasks:
- assist the coordinator in the day-by-day management of the project, organize the procedures for internal communication within the consortium, as well as for the collection of reports and deliverables
- assist the Coordinator in the financial management of the project, collect financial statements from the partners,
- support the organization, preparation and follow up of periodical meetings,
- support the partners with reference to procedures requested by the European Commission.Advisory Board:: The Advisory Board (AB) consists of one representative of each partner and is chaired by the Coordinator. It is responsible for discussing the general RTD direction of the project and for ensuring the completion of the work plan within the scheduled time frame. The AB will meet at least 4 times during the project (a kick off meeting and further general meetings at month 12, 24 and 36).
In particular, Advisory Board shall be responsible for:
- decisions concerning the work plan and its major changes;
- allocation of the budget to the work plan and any financial and budget-related matters;
- decisions with regard to any amendment of the terms of the EC contract and Consortium Agreement which should prove necessary;
- decisions concerning possible premature completion/termination of the project
- settling any disputes arising from project implementation
- IPR-related matters
- press releases and joint publications by the partners with regard to the project.
All decisions will be taken by consent; in case a voting is necessary, each representative shall have one vote and may appoint a substitute to attend and vote at any meeting of the AB.
As far as the work plan implementation is concerned, the AB will be operatively supported by Work Package Leaders appointed within the WP leading institutions.
The following tasks are in charge of the WP Leaders:
- coordination and monitoring of the progress of the tasks foreseen in the respective WP;
- organization, collection and quality control of the foreseen deliverables;
- coordination with the other WP Leaders and the Coordinator in order to ensure exchange of information.
- information of the Coordinator and of the other partners of any event within the WP that may affect the foreseen scheduling of the work
The AB will meet at least 4 times during the project duration (36 months). Meetings shall be convened by the Coordinator with at least 30 calendar days prior notice, accompanied by an agenda. The agenda shall be deemed to be accepted unless one of the members notifies the coordinator and the other members in writing of additional points to the agenda, at the latest two working days before the date of the meeting. During the meeting, scientific presentation of the results obtained will be held by the consortium members. Minutes of the meetings shall be published on the web site within 30 calendar days after the date of the meeting. The minutes shall be considered as accepted by the other members if, within fifteen calendar days from publication, no member has objected in a traceable form to the Coordinator. Each meeting will deliver, further to the minutes, copies of associated scientific lectures. Copy of the presentations will be also available in the Web page.
The communication among partners is very important, since it not only allows the smooth realization of the project activities, but furthermore encourages exchange and research creativity. Further to project meeting, e-mail and telephone (conference calls) will be the preferred communication tool among partners. An Internet website will be set up at the project start to facilitate exchange of information among partners and to enable partners to upload and download project relevant data and information in an easy way. The project web-site will include a section with access restricted to project partners.
The project plan is structured in work packages grouping activities and tasks and following the logical phases of the project. Each work package will have specific deliverables and a verifiable end-point which represents an important milestone in the overall project. This structure will enable adequate and effective monitoring by the project partners and by the Commission. Possible problems and relative corrective measures will be early detected and will be brought to the attention of the AB.
Decision making and conflict resolution
In general, it is expected that possible conflicting views will be solved bilaterally within the WP or task where they may emerge. In the exceptional case when conflicts cannot be solved, the AB may be called to solve the conflict. The AB will make a final binding decision, if necessary, by voting. All pending conflicts will be solved within reasonable time frames and the AB shall make a decision within 20 working days.
A Consortium Agreement,detailing responsibilities of partners, financial provisions and other contractual provisions (including conflict resolution) will be agreed upon and signed by all partners during the first months of the project.